ALUCAM's HIV/AIDS program
Country of Operation
- Rio Tinto AlcanFor-profit
SummaryALUCAM, an aluminum production plant, in conjunction with the SOCATRAL company, initiated a program to combat AIDS in the workplace in 1995.
Key program components
With the help of the Sanga Companies Medical Center (CMES), which looks after the management of staff and families and provides some health services to the local community, the program has undertaken a variety of activities to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Prevention was highlighted in the Information, Education, Communication (IEC) campaigns, carried out by 50 educator pairs (including 33 plant employees and 17 members of the local community) who were recruited and trained by a doctor. Activities undertaken by these individuals involve holding formal meetings in the company's various departments and offices, in the local community, in schools and leisure clubs, and other locales upon request.
The program uses various modes of communications (e.g. posters, cartoons, slogans, film presentations followed by informal chats and an offer of voluntary counseling and testing (VCT)) and organizes high-awareness events such as an "AIDS Week" which occurs the week before December 1st each year. Prevention of HIV/AIDS is also addressed in "annual plant safety weeks" and union meetings (in-house and external).
Initially, the prevention program was implemented mostly within the plant. Subsequently, it was extended to both those entitled to company care as well as the Edéa population. Youth from Edéa schools and colleges participated in a drawing contest that resulted in the creation of a plant mural on the theme of prevention of HIV/AIDS on external wall of the plant around the CMES.
The program also includes advertising and free distribution of condoms by the recruited educators and health care staff. These are provided by the Social Marketing Programme (Family Health and AIDS Prevention Project - SFPS/USAID and KfW). Costs are paid directly by ALUCAM (billed every 10 days), and all procedures and drugs are free to the staff and their families.